Registered Critic: Steven Stanley

Since creating StageSceneLA in 2007, Steven Stanley has reviewed over 2400 productions in and around Los Angeles and commemorated each year’s outstanding achievements with his annual StageSceneLA Scenies. As an actor, he has appeared on the stages of the Lillian Theatre, the Actor’s Group Theatre, the Stephanie Feurie Studio Theatre, the Gardner Stages, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, and the Whittier Center Theatre. By day he teaches ESL at Cal State L.A.
Oct

Stupid Kid

Not only has Sharr White written one of the year's best plays in Stupid Kid, it proves one of the most satisfying as well. I haven't applauded so hard (so hard it hurt) in a good long while.

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Oct

Vino Veritas

As the recent Sequence and Late Company made perfectly clear, the venerable Theatre 40 is best when taking chances on the fresh and edgy. Vino Veritas has both freshness and edge, and is well worth checking out on this its closing weekend.

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Oct

Walking to Buchenwald

A story told with humor, subtlety, and emotional impact featuring characters you and I can recognize and identify with in a world gone increasingly mad, Walking To Buchenwald makes for yet another Tom Jacobson winner.

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Oct

BILLY BOY

Having loved Sea Change, The Sonneteer, and Euripides' Helen, I was expecting more of Billy Boy. Salamone's latest may be great therapy for its protagonist, but it's not the great theater I was hoping for.

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Oct

Br'er Cotton

As current as today's headlines, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble's latest may not be entirely the play I would have wished for, but there is no denying the gut-punching power Br'er Cotton packs.

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Oct

Footloose

With its catchy songs, infectious dance numbers, and an awesome young cast to perform them, Glendale Centre Theatre's Footloose The Broadway Musical proves the quintessential crowd pleaser for audiences from eight to eighty.

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Sep

The View UpStairs

The thirty-four gay bar patrons who lost their lives in the 1973 arson attack on New Orleans' UpStairs Lounge deserve far better than Max Vernon's corny, clichéd The View UpStairs,

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Sep

Fixed

Once again showcasing Boni B. Alvarez's unique playwriting voice and some of L.A. theater's finest onstage and behind-the-scenes talents, Fixed packs one powerful punch.

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Sep

The Madwoman of Chaillot

It's taken A Noise Within a quarter-century to add Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman Of Chaillot to their long list of classics brought to contemporary life. Their timing (and the production they have mounted) could hardly be better.

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Sep

THE RED SHOES

You don't have to be a ballet aficionado to fall under The Red Shoes' seductive spell. (I'm certainly not, and I did.) Balletophile or not, expect to stand up and cheer.

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Sep

Big Night

Paul Rudnick fans hoping for more of what made us fall for his previous hits will be sorely disappointed by Big Night. Big Flop is more like it.

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Sep

Pterodactyls

An AIDS-era period piece still relevant in Trump-era America, Pterodactyls retains much of its original power to delight and dismay. Pop Up Theater Inc.'s 2017 revival may not get it all right, but there's enough going on in the Culver Studios Commissary to make it worth checking out.

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Sep

Carmen Disruption

Prolific British playwright Simon Stephens goes avant-garde in Carmen Disruption, meaning that no matter how much you may have loved the edgy realism of Punk Rock or the captivating whimsy of Heisenberg or the utter magic of his stage adaptation of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, you may well find his artsy 2015 take on Bizet a good deal less engaging.

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Sep

Grey Nomad

All of this adds up to a play that feels both original and familiar, and with director Iain Sinclair eliciting four of the most delectable performances you'll see any time soon, from Paterson's stick-in-the-mud curmudgeon to Hammers' unstoppable force of nature to Tassone's life-devouring torso-flaunter and above all to the remarkable Gentle, whose transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is a joy to behold.

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Sep

Other Desert Cities

f you're anything like me, you'll want to see Other Desert Cities more than once, the first time for the thrill of discovery, the second (and beyond) for the chance to rediscover Baitz's compelling cast of characters in a whole new light. I've now seen five productions, and though Theatricum Botanicum's will hopefully not be the last, it's one of the absolute best.

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Sep

Somewhere in the Middle

I approached Somewhere in the Middle (or guess who's coming for Passover) with some trepidation, if only for its rather unwieldy title. I need not have fretted. The latest from Crown City may not win a Pulitzer, but it's a crowd-pleasing winner in its own sweet, funny, conversation-starting way.

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Sep

Cigarettes and Chocolate & Hangup

Placing the emphasis on a playwright's words and a cast's gifts at bringing them to life, the latest from Pacific Resident Theatre proves an unexpected—and entirely unique—dramatic treat.

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Sep

The Marvelous Wonderettes

A rocking, rollicking, romantic good time for audiences of all ages, The Marvelous Wonderettes makes a jaunt over to the Pasadena-adjacent Sierra Madre Playhouse a summertime must.

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Sep

Honky Tonk Laundry

With its dynamic-duo stars, some of the liveliest country music you'll hear this side of Nashville, and a female-empowering message snuck in for good measure, Honky Tonk Laundry adds up to yet another crowd-pleasing (and I'm guessing long-running) Roger Bean hit.

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Sep

Welcome to the White Room

Welcome To The White Room will likely divide audiences among those who proclaim it brilliantly profound, those who leave the theater dazed and confused, and those like this reviewer who find themselves torn between the two extremes.

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